Animal hoarding: a complex mess

Dr Kersti Seksel, registered specialist in veterinary behaviour medicine and behavioural science major in human psychology, explains the complicated and sensitive topic of animal hoarding.

This issue is difficult to research and complex to resolve, but help is available.

Find out more about animal hoarding in our interview with Kersti.



RSPCA: Animal Hoarding information

The hoarding of animals research consortium (Tufts University)

Snowdon, J., Halliday, G., & Banerjee, S. (2012). Severe Domestic Squalor. Cambridge University Press. Chapter 5: Animal Hoarding.

Get help and support by visiting your GP doctor, or contact:

Beyond Blue


Image credit: Banksy via Flickr/JoelRae


Helping children with autism: the unlikely heroes

Maggie O’Haire returns to Human Animal Science to discuss her innovative research (based at the University of Queensland) helping children with autism with assistance from some unassuming guinea pigs.

Maggie is currently completing her PhD and is Project Director for an NICHD-WALTHAM funded grant to study Animal-Assisted Intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder and their peers.

The results are amazing!

Find out as we talk to Maggie about helping children with autism.



Human Animal Interaction Research


O’Haire, M. E., McKenzie, S. J., Beck, A. M., & Slaughter, V. (2013). Social skills increase in children with autism in the presence of animals compared to toys. PLoS ONE, 8(2), e57010.

O’Haire, M. E. (2012). Animal-assisted intervention for autism spectrum disorder: A systematic literature reviewJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1707-5.

O’Haire, M. E., Rand J. S., McKenzie, S. J., & Slaughter, V. (2010). Guinea pigs as classroom pets: Helping children with autism and their peersSociety for Companion Animal Studies Journal, XXII (4), 11-13.